Title: Baron
Title in succession: (next 12th)
Date created: 
Grand Master Manuel de Vilhena
Granted To: Isidore Viani
Rep: Bugeja Viani / Testaferrata / Scicluna (dormant )
Remainder to:
his descendants in perpetuity; each holder of the title having the right to nominate a successor; 
in default in absence of a male first born or male issue to the female first born, members of the clergy are precluded.

Present Holder: Christiane Ramsay Scicluna
Abeyance: Passed into abeyance 1978, brought out in 1983 and in 1985 transferred inter vivos 
by decree of the Committee of Privileges. In 2002 was again vacant, was given to Corinne in 2005 and
became vacant in 2008.
In 2009 a sub-Committee setup to determine the new Title Holder.
Foreign Titles not recognised by the Royal 1878 Commission: Baron Testaferrata Moroni Viani
This title was contested by three claimant holders, Baron Salvino,
Falzon-Sant-Manduca and Scicluna families.
This decision was put to rest in 2005 by the Committee of Privileges.
On the death of Maria Ramsay in 2007, once again the title became vacant. A legal issue ensued, where the Committee of Privileges appointed a sub-Committee to look into the 3 claimants, namely the Testaferrata family, the Bugeja Viani family and Christiane Ramsay Scicluna (daughter of Maria). See note below at end of page.
There was a 'decisione secreta' of which the sub-committee made a final request to the Committee which was accepted.


The barony of Tabria (Ta’Brija) was granted to the Barba family in 1315, Guerardo family in 1398, the Gatto family in 1407, del Carretto family in 1408, Landolino de Noto in 1453.

As a fief it would have either died out, due to lack of family members and be re-granted or be sold as a fief. 

The present holders of the Barony of Tabria was granted to Isidore Viani in 1728, by the Grand Master Manuel de Vilhena with the remainder to his descendants in perpetuity. Each holder of the title having the right to nominate a successor , in default of nomination, to the first born male descendant and in the absence of male issue, to the first born female descendant.

The tower at Wied Znuber was probably built during this period by a member of the Viani family. This tower, in the area of Hal-Far, served as a place of refuge for this family since the Palazzo Viani, also know as Palazzo Hal-Far, was situated in the same district. The tower, the palace and the whole district of Hal-Far were subsequently inherited by Baron Isidore Viani.

The entail of the 1st Baron Viani was established in favour of the eldest son in the direct line. Failing this, it would pass to the eldest male descendant in the female line. Failing this, it would pass to the eldest male descendant in the female line. This primogeniture could not be held by 'priest, deacons, sub-deacons, nuns, monks, imbeciles and those incapable of contracting marriage'. The holder was, however, obliged to retain the insignia and surname of the Viani family 'in addition to that of his own family name'. If this was ignored the holder was to forfeit the income for one year.

In 1728, the Baron of Tabria, Isidore Viani, had been ennobled by the Grand Master Vilhena for 'service rendered'. Less than six years later, the Baron was accused of embezzling, from the Universita of Valletta, the large sum of 60,000 scudi. He was tried, found guilty, and then imprisioned in the Castle of St Elmo. All his gold, silver, furniture and paintings were confiscated, and most of his property, excluding that which had entitled by his father, was subsequently auctioned. Viani's three houses in Valletta were sold for 4,100 scudi, of which Grand Master Vilhena, who paid half for the family casa in Strada Stretta. The Baron was subsequently sentenced to death, but was later reprieved by Grand Master Vilhena, who accepted to disentail the family primogeniture. Thus part of the money was refunded. The effect of this misappropriation fell heavily on the family. Many of their properties were sold by the Universita, others which had a high income, were retained and their rents deposited in the treasury. In 1775, these properties were again entailed, this time, by the Baron's son and daughters but 'in order to repay the debt of their father' the income was still channeled into the Unversita. The entail consisted of five groups of houses at Zurrieq, Cospicua, and Vittoriosa, the Palace and territories of Hal-Far and the cow-stalls, pig-sties, pigeon houses, stables, coach-houses and gardens, the tower, hunting lodges, as well as all the citrus trees of Benhisa. In addition, there were twenty one fields. The family residence at Paola, Palazzo Viani, which had been built in the eighteen century was not entailed

Isidore Viani of Italian Descent was succeeded by his son Gio Batta, who left two daughters as Heiress. The eldest daughter died without children, and the younger married the 2nd Marquis “ Cassar-Desain”.

Giovanni Battista Viani, Baron di Tabria, died without any male issue, and deciding which of his two daughter should inherit his title. Under the terms of the original patent, the eldest daughter, Francesca, should have received the title. But her sister Anna, who married to Marquis Mario Testaferrata, contested the claim on the pretext that her sister was not of sound mind. When the unfortunate Francesca had recovered from her illness, she was persuaded to renounce her title in favour of her nephew, Guiseppe, Anna's son. In 1784, Francesca's petition to this effect was approved by Grand Master de Rohan who invested Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani with the Barony di Tabria on the 22 October of that same year.

The younger Heiress’s eldest son Guiseppe Testaferrata-Viani succeed to the Barony of Tabria as the 4th Barony. He was also the Capitano della Verga of Malta, married the daughter of the 5th Baron of San Marciano, siring several children, dying in 1837.

The Marquis Mario Testaferrata had three sons, two of whom, Lorenzo and Filippo, did nothing to enhance the family name. Lorenzo, a cleric, fathered 'several children' by Angela Attard, the daughter of the family coachman. Filippo, also a cleric, had 'bastard sons' by one of the family maids, Vincenza Falanca. Eventually both brothers married the mothers of their children, this nearly drove their father completely mad. Fortunately for these noble cadets, as Lorenzo and Filippo are described, the Marquis who was 'feeble-minded and scarcely capable of managing his own affairs, was on even worse terms with his eldest son, Giuseppe the Baron di Tabria. Resulting from all the bad feelings towards the eldest son, Lorenzo was granted the prerogative of the family benefices and also allowed, by his father, to buy the family palazzo in Valletta, together with all its contents. On the other hand, Filippo was their heir to the Castelletti entail. These actions appear rather strange in view of the Marquis's former attitude towards his younger sons, and would appear to bear out the above statement on his mental state. This is even more astonishing since Mario, in his will, had excluded all bastards, even though they may have been legitimised at law. He appears, however to have, possible inadvertently, left a loophole by withdrawing the exclusion in the case of those bastards legitimized by subsequent marriage, provided that the marriage was not contracted with an ignoble female.

His son succeeded as the 5th Baron, Gilberto also sometime Capitano della Verga, and his successor was Guiseppe, who became the 6th Baron, but died without issue.

The next successor was by nomination to Giuseppe's sister’s younger son Rosario Luigi Testaferrata-Moroni-Viani.

Rosario was a member of the council of Government of Malta, and died in 1935, succeeded by his daughter .

Maria Violet succeeded as the 7th Baroness, and married the Marquis John Scicluna (Papal Creation) and sired several children, Maria Violet dying in 1955, succeeding by her younger son by act of nomination.

Patrick Scicluna succeeded as the 8th Baron, who died without issue in 1978, where the title was succeeded by his brother the Marquis Joe Scicluna, as the 9th Baron of Tabria after the title was called out of abeyance in 1983.

In 1978, Patrick Scicluna, 8th. Baron of Tabria died. 

The Baron was unmarried and before his death he had failed to nominate a successor. 

The title therefore passed into abeyance for 5 years. 

During this period of abeyance, the Committee of Privileges considered various claims to the title. 

The Committee eventually decided in favour of the Baron’s elder brother, Joseph Scicluna (Marquis Scicluna) who succeeded to the title on the 29th. September 1983. 

This gentleman, therefore, became the 9th. Baron of Tabria. 

On 14th. January, 1985, the 9th. Baron renounced his title and by means of an act of nomination inter vivos, nominated a kinswoman, (the late) Lilianina Falzon Sant Manduca (married name, Bugeja) to succeed him. 

The Committee of Privileges, having by now already ratified two acts of nomination inter vivos, that is of Count Sant to his son John and Marquis Jerome Depiro (at the time President of the Committee of Privileges) in favour of his son Nicholas and Marquis Depiro. Despite of course lacking the legal power to do so, the Committee of Privileges could hardly fail to ratify a third! 

This especially since the then President of the Committee (Francis Sant Cassia) had himself signed a similar act of nomination inter vivos a few weeks earlier in favour of his son! 

The Committee on 25th July 1985, not surprisingly, ratified the act of nomination inter vivos and (the late) Lilianina Bugeja succeeded as the 10th Baroness of Tabria. 

The 9th. Baron, Joseph Scicluna (Marquis Scicluna) died on the 6th. June 1995. 

We understand that he confirmed the late Lilianina Bugeja as his successor in his last will and testament; if this information is correct then the late Lilianina Bugeja was undoubtedly the 10th Baroness of Tabria. 

If he did not nominate her to succeed him in his last will and testament, the succession to the Barony of Tabria would be thrown wide open. The earlier instrument of nomination, an act of nomination inter vivos, lacked the Sovereign’s specific consent and was consequently totally null and void. 

However, forgetting for the moment the 9th Baron’s last will and testament, her succession could not legally have taken place until the Baron’s death. 

As we have seen above, even a straightforward succession normally takes about one year. 

Thus, the very earliest date upon on which the late Lilianina Bugeja could have succeeded was June 1996 

For a number of years, during the period 1985-1996, the late Lilianina Bugeja, served on the Committee of Privileges, passing judgment on matters of nobility, including the succession to titles. 

The marquis , then nominate a distant cousin, his kinswoman, as his heir to the Barony and renounced the title in her favour in 1985.

The renunciation and nomination was ratified by the committee of Privileges on the 25th July , 1985.

Lilianina Falzon-Sant-Manduca (1940-2000), succeeded as the 10th Baroness of Tabria, and is a descendant of the 2nd Baron of Tabria, through the Marquisate Cassar-Desain.

The Baroness married to a John Bugeja and had several children, died 13 March 2000, succeeded by her son, 

The 10th Baroness was very active for a number of years on the Committee of Privileges until her sad and untimely death on 13th March 2000. Her son should have presumably been the 11th Baron. 

Contestant's Philip Falzon Sant Manduca, Baron Salvino Testaferrata and Corinne Ramsay Scicluna all bid for the title of the Baron della Tabria. 

In 2005 the Committee of Privileges voted in favour of Marie Corinne Ramsay Scicluna.

11th Baroness of Tabria, The Noble Marie Corinne Ramsay Scicluna (1923-2007) Baroness decided in October 2007

Once again the following person placed their bid for the title: which is to date Vacant (June 2008)

Philip Bugeja Falzon Sant Manduca, Martin Testaferrata in the name of Baron Salvino Testaferrata and Christiane Ramsay Scicluna. Who is going to be the next Baron or Baroness of Tabria, is anyone's guess?.When so many inter vivos transfers have been made, it simply does not make matters easier. But after a two year legal issue, it was finally decided.

12th Baroness of Tabria, The Noble Christiane Ramsay Scicluna, decided February 2010, with issue.

A Genealogical Account of the Barons di Tabria

Gio Battista Viani, 2nd Baron di Tabria, married 1733 to Maria Teresa Bonici

1. Francesca Viani, De Jure Baroness di Tabria, dunm.
2. Anna Viani, married 1762 to Mario Testaferrata Castelletti, 2nd Marquis Testaferrata
2.1. Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (1767-1837), 3rd Baron di Tabria, married 1791 to Rosa Maria Galea Feriol
2.1.1. Gilberto Testaferrata Viani (1801-??), 4th Baron di Tabria, married 1826 to Aloisea dei Conti Sceberras Bologna Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (1837-92), 5th Baron di Tabria, married 1875 to Carmela dei Baroni Galea Feriol, and dsp. Maria Angelica Testaferrata Viani (1830-67), married Dr Pietro Testaferrata Abela Moroni, LL.D Salvatore Testaferrata Moroni Abela (c 1866-1911) Baroncino della Tabria, married to Caroline Barbaro Sant Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (died 1954) Barone Testaferrata, married 1922 to Carmela Cremona Barone Salvino Testaferrata Moroni Viani , Marquis Testaferrata Moroni Viani (cr:1986), married 1962 to Monika Ammerman Christopher Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1964- Baroncino Testaferrata, married 1962 to Daniela Vinci Stephen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1994- Dr Martin Testaferrata Moroni Viani LLD, (c 1969- Marquis Testaferrata Moroni Viani (cr: 1993- Carmen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1963-67) Mario Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1932-, married 1957 to Jane Borg Hampton Peter Paul Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1960- , married Theresa Vincenti-Kind Sarah Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1986- Mark Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1988- Peter Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1994- Paul Stephen Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1965-, married Clara Galea Luke Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1994- Caroline Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1958-, married Gerald Zammit Matthew Zammit Amanda Zammit Beatrice Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1927- Maria Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c1923-, married 1948 to Lino Testaferrata Bonici, 7th Barone della Qlejgha (for descendants see TABLE 4) Guiseppe Testaferrata Moroni Abela (c 1870-), dunm Riccardo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1868-) dunm Rosario Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1871-1935), 6th Barone della Tabria, married 1895 to Maria Mizzi Mary Violet Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1897-1955), 7th Baroness di Tabria, married 1921 to Marquis John Scicluna Joseph Scicluna, (c 1925-, 4th Marquis Scicluna, 9th Barone della Tabria (renounced to distant cousin) Patrick Scicluna (c 1927-78), 8th Barone della Tabria, dunm. Marie Corinne Scicluna (c 1923-, Baronessina della Tabria, married 1947 to Lt Cmdr R.A. Ramsay de Miniac DSO, RN. Marie Christine Ramsay de Miniac (c 1948-, married 1974 to Umberto Pergola Justine Corinne Pergola (c 1979- Maria Angela Scicluna (c 1924-, married Alan Marshall Marcus Scicluna Marshall (c 1956-, de Jure Marquis Scicluna, married 1975 to Marion La Pira Marcus Scicluna Marshall  Marquis [see Foreign title Holders] Mathew Scicluna Marshall Luke Scicluna Marshall (c 1985- Romina Marshall (c 1959-, married 1985 to Charles A.Short Beatrice Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1888- Clovina Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1890- Mary Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1899- Laura Testaferrata Moroni Viani (c 1864- (third marriage) Francesco Testaferrata Abela , 6th Barone di Gomerino, dunm Ettore Testaferrata Abela, married Maria Anderson, dsp. Augusto Testaferrata Abela (c 1823-85), 7th Barone della Gomerino, married 1850 to Angelica dei Conti Tagliaferro (See Barony di Gomerino)
2.2. Lorenzo Testaferrata (1770-??), married Angela Attard, with issue
2.3. Filippo Testaferrata, (1774-1821), 3rd Marquis 'Testaferrata', married 1807 to Vincenza Falanca
2.3.1.Lorenzo Antonio Testaferrata (1805-51), 4th Marquis 'Testaferrata', married 1822 to Maria Teresa Cassar Desain Filippo Giacomo Testaferrata (Later change surname to Cassar Desain), 5th Marquis 'Testaferrata' (1826-66), married 1848 to Veneranda dei Marchesi de Piro Lorenzo Antonio Cassar de Sain (1851-1886), 7th Marquis Cassar de Sain, married 1872 to Camilla Slythe Richard George Cassar de Sain (1880-1927), 9th Marquis Cassar de Sain, married 1905 to Mary Alexandra Turnbull James George Cassar de Sain (1907-58), 10th Marquis Cassar de Sain, married with issue (See Cassar de Sain) Mary dei Marchesi Cassar de Sain (1916- , married 1939 to Albert Falzon Sant Manduca Alfred Falzon Sant Manduca (1943- Lilianina Falzon Sant Manduca (1940-2000), 10th Baroness di Tabria, married 1963 to John Bugeja Philip Bugeja Viani (1964-, 11th Baron di Tabria, married Margaret Gatt James Bugeja Viani (1967- , married Lara dei Conti Strickland Bologna Mary Anne Bugeja Viani (1974- Alberta Falzon Sant Manduca (1945-, married 1970 to Joseph Camilleri Christian Camilleri (1971- Rachel Camilleri (1973- Lisa Camilleri (1983-

This is the information regarding the Scicluna family and current holders of the Tabria Title:

* John A. Scicluna, (1903-70), 2nd Marquis Scicluna, 3rd Marchese Scicluna of the Holy Roman Empire married 1921 to Mary Violet Testaferrata Moroni Viani, Baroness of Tabria, with issue

1. Joseph Scicluna, (1925-1995), 3rd Marquis
2. Patrick Scicluna, (1927-1978), Baron of Tabria- (Tabria nomination) *1.
3. Marie Corinne Scicluna, (1923-2007), Baroness of Tabria,  married 1947 to Lt. Cmdr Robert Ramsay de Miniac, R.N. with issue.

3.1. Marie Christine Ramsay de Miniac, (1948 -, Baroness of Tabria, married 1974 to Umberto Pergola, with issue - current Title Holder.

3.1.1. Justine Corinne Melita Pergola, (1979 - Baronessina of Tabria.
4. Maria Angela Scicluna (1924-, married Alan Marshall, with issue.
4.1. Marcus Scicluna Marshall, 4th Marquis Scicluna, married 1975 to Marion Lapira, with issue
4.1.1. Marcus Scicluna Marshall. (1975-, Marchesino Scicluna Foreign Title re-grant by the Pope.
4.1.2. Matthew Marshall, (1978-
4.1.3. Luke Marshall, (1985-
4.2. Romina Marshall, (1959-, married 1985 (Div) to Charles Alan Short.



Note *1: Patrick Scicluna is noted as having been ‘nominated’ in the title of Baron of Tabria (last invested in the family of Testaferrata Viani in 1784).

(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO '[email protected] or [email protected] ' stating site you seen the genealogical tree and updates.)

References: 1) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta", Gulf Publishing Ltd, Malta, 1981.
2) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta, Volume Two", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1992.
3) Gauci,C.A and Mallet, P.,"The Palaeologos Family- A Genealogical Review" ,Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1985
4) Gauci, C.A.," A Guide to the Maltese Nobility", Publishers Enterprise Group (PEG) Ltd, Malta, 1986.
5) Montalto, J., "The Nobles of Malta-1530-1800", Midsea Books Ltd, Malta, 1980.
6) De Piro, N., "Casa Rocco Piccola", The Conde' Nast Publications 1999.' Http:// '
7) Giles Ash, S., "The Nobility of Malta", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1988.
8) Said Vassallo, C.M., Unpublished research papers.
9) Said Vassallo, C.M., Research site.

Note: Marquis Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (senior) was the third and last person to have been formally invested in the 1728 title of Baron Viani of Tabria.

Following the 1784 investiture, and order of primogeniture, succession is reckoned as follows: Isidoro Viani, (1st Baron), Gio Batta Viani (2nd), Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (3rd), Gilberto Testaferrata Viani (4th), Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (5th), Salvatore Testaferrata Moroni Viani (6th), Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Moroni Viani (7th),  Salvino Testaferrata Moroni Viani (8th).

It appears that the Marchese Giuseppe (3rd) “donated” the title of Tabria to his younger son Mario (4th, succeeding by ‘donation’) by virtue of a deed in the acts of Notary Lorenzo Antonio Azzopardi of the 16th June 1834. Published sources do not make any reference to this transaction:- this is probably because of the principle that private transactions regarding titles of nobility are null and void (See notes above).

On the other hand, Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani (5th) is noted as having ‘nominated’ this title to his younger nephew Rosario Testaferrata Moroni Viani (6th Baron, succeeding ‘by nomination’). This private transaction was upheld as valid by a judgment dated 4 October 1894 (Testaferrata Moroni Viani vs Testaferrata Moroni Viani).

Following this private transaction, supplemented by the aforesaid judgment , ulterior enumeration is as follows: Mary Violet Scicluna (7th, following a ‘nomination’ in favour of Rosario), Patrick Scicluna (8th Baron, younger son of Mary Violet ‘by nomination’).

Furthermore, said Patrick Scicluna is also noted as having died in 1978 without nominating a successor and that in 1983 this title was ‘brought out of abeyance’ in favour of his elder brother Joseph Scicluna (9th Baron, ‘brought out of abeyance’), who in turn passed the title by means of a deed made in the acts of Notary Jeanette Laferla Saliba of the 14 January 1985 n to a kinswoman Lilianina Bugeja nee Falzon Sant Manduca (‘by a transfer inter vivos, and ratification”) and that this transaction was ‘ratified’ by the Committee of Privileges 25th July 1985. According to Maltese media reports, Bugeja died, also without having made a nomination, and the title was ‘awarded’ to the Sciclunas’ sister Corinne Ramsay. Some court cases were instigated both by Bugeja’s son Philip as well as Ramsay and her daughter Christianne. ( Judgment link  - courtcase link this is a link to Maltagenealogy ).  During the court cases it resulted that Joseph Scicluna had also made a will in favour of Lilianina Bugeja. However, in each case the Maltese Courts declared themselves to have no jurisdiction to hear such matters because Malta had legislated in 1975 (Act XXIX of 1975) against recognition of nobiliary titles in any form whatsoever.
Charles Said Vassallo -



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